Phoenix -- Not one, but two big-spending Republicans announced campaigns for Congress in Arizona's first district today, earning big laughs as they spoke about the need to reduce spending Washington.
Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu is widely remembered for having spent more than $28,000 of official Pinal County Sheriff's Office funds at a five-star luxury hotel, the Renaissance St. Louis Grand. While other Arizona Sheriff's Departments sent one person to this national conference, Babeu's entourage was more than ten people. When questioned about spending more than $50,000 on the trip, Babeu explained that he was "proud" of spending Sheriff's Office funds on what the St. Louis Grand Hotel calls its "sophisticated comfort," "grand event venues," "high-tech amenities and unmatched services," and "modern guest rooms."
In his press release today, Babeu talks of needing to "break the cycle of spending" in Washington.
Arizona House Speaker David Gowan earned headlines earlier this year for planning a deluxe renovation of the House basement, complete with a workout gym and showers, all at a cost of $1.7 million for taxpayers. In his press release today, Gowan talks of needing to "shrink the size" of government.
"Paul Babeu and David Gowan's big-spending habits are out of control," said Arizona Democratic Party Executive Director Sheila Healy. "Politicians should not spend official funds on fancy five-star hotels, or on renovating government buildings with an exclusive gym and showers. These are the wrong priorities for Congress, and they are definitely the wrong priorities for families in Arizona."